Genesis 18:9 -15
Vs 9: Where is Sarah? This reflects the same questions as Gen 3:9 & 4:9. The question could be similar in how the question was asked. God knew where Sarah was but could he have been asking Abraham, “Where is Sarah spiritually?” Is she on board with this promise? Sarah was in the tent listening to the conversation. She was probably staying out of sight since wives hid themselves when the husband was entertaining.
Vs 10 – 3: God speaks about Sarah giving birth to a son. In fact He is more specific as he tells Abraham she will have a child at this time next year. Sarah’s response is similar to Abraham as she laughs to herself in her heart.
Sarah is well past menopause and she probably had given up hope of ever mothering a son. Her laughter and heart response tell us that Sarah did not believe God was going to follow through with his promise. Her laughter was probably based in hopelessness and cynicism. There is a part of me that is sympathetic towards her. She had been continually told of this promise for years and absolutely nothing has happened. Sarah’s laughter could have been a defense mechanism because she may not have wanted her hopes to get high just to have them crushed if God didn’t do what he said.
The Lord replies in astonishment that Sarah would even consider laughing about his promise. He can’t believe that she would doubt his promise The Lord then rebukes Sarah for her unbelief and she denies that she laughed and doubted.
So as we look at this passage both Abraham and Sarah laugh when told by God she will give birth to a child. However Abraham was not rebuked for his response and Sarah was. Why is this? I think the right response is Abraham laughed out of gratitude, reverence and joy and Sarah laughed out of bitterness, spite and unbelief. Nowhere does it say that Abraham did not believe God was going to fulfill his promise. However Sarah may have refused to believe. It was all a matter of the heart.
Vs 14: The Lord rebukes Sarah and then a question is asked, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” It is a rhetorical question because the obvious answer is, “NO, nothing is impossible with God”. This question is also a great reminder to us during times when our faith is wavering or our trust in God is waning. Do I and you truly believe nothing is impossible with God?
This was a question my wife and I were forced to ask ourselves early in our marriage. She was told before we were married that having children naturally was something that most likely was not a possibility for us. My wife actually asked me before we were married if I would be ok adopting if we couldn’t conceive?
Once we were married she had a procedure and the doctor told us that IF pregnancy were to occur, there was a small window of opportunity and that time was now; although nothing was guaranteed. Both of us were not planning on having children this early in our marriage but if we wanted them now was our only possible chance. We Tried many times with no success. There was frustration, questioning and even times of giving up hope.
One day God led me to I Samuel 1 and the story of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. She prayed and asked God for a child and promised to dedicate him to His service. I felt led to do as Hannah did. I prayed and I believed God was able to give us a child because God could do the impossible. As I look at the four children we have today I am happily reminded that NOTHING is impossible with God.
I think many of us can relate to both Abraham and Sarah as they struggled in their faith. Abraham knew his God and he believed God was going to fulfill his promise. Maybe you are facing a situation or have been waiting on the promise of God in your life. You may be feeling a bit hopeless, maybe a bit concerned that God isn’t going to do what he has said or you may even be on the verge of losing faith. But I think it is important to know and understand the process we go through in understanding and trusting God.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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